Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rape is also a man's issue.

We live in an amazing country during a wondrous time. We delight in how modern we are with the internet, swift transportation, the best medical care in history, and so on. We pride ourselves on how allegedly progressive we are as a society, with our races integrated, our women allowed to vote, hold office, and share top spots in every discipline. America is a wondrous country, so why are we still sometimes such barbarians when it comes to our treatment of women? 

Women are routinely victimized in America because our culture still permits, and even encourages such barbarism.

Women are routinely victimized in America because our culture still permits, and even encourages such barbarism.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: rape, rates, crime, statistics, morality, behavior, objectivifaction, women


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We are fixated on the news from India, as several men who gang-raped and murdered a woman on a New Delhi bus face trial for their infamous crime. However, we know, perhaps subtly, that rape is also an issue in our own country.

Discussing rape in America is still too often an unpopular proposition. Last fall, as many as five Republican politicians mentioned rape in their speeches, and all were swiftly vilified and condemned for remarks which were widely regarded as insensitive towards women. The remarks were,at times,  ill advised, unscientific, and grossly insensitive.

Were we too harsh on them? Are women just too sensitive? Was this just an opportunistic strike by the left against good, moral men?

The fact is women have a right to be sensitive on this issue. We have a genuine problem with rape and it must be addressed. According to essayist Rebecca Solnit, a rape is reported in the United States about every 6.2 minutes. That's going to place a burden on any 911 and police response system, not to mention medical facilities and the amount of investigation and prosecution that must also follow. The price tag for these crimes likely ranges well into the billions of dollars annually, and that's just the law enforcement and medical costs incurred by the epidemic.

We'd be entirely shallow if we only examined this from a fiscal perspective. What matters more is the emotional devastation that results from these crimes. Rape is a deeply traumatizing, intimate crime. It strikes at the core of the person and compromises their sense of safety, well being, and overall health. It can even kill. Whether by suicide or by added violence, about a thousand women in the US die each year after falling victim to some kind of sex crime.

Solnit estimates that one in five women will be raped at some point in their lifetimes, and nine out of 10 rapes will go unreported.

This means a little baby girl, born today, has a 20 percent chance of being raped during her lifetime. Yet, she has only a 1 in 10 chance of reporting the crime to the authorities. She has less chance than that of seeing justice done to her attacker. Finally, the odds that her attacker will be dealt a full measure of justice are even slimmer than that. This means that perhaps 95 percent or worse, of all rapists escape justice and are free to strike again.

What's behind this? the exsitence of Misogyny for one. Despite the advances we have made to women's equality and rights, we sometimes still treat women as second-class citizens in many respects. Women can still earn less than men, can be more likely to be victims rather than victimizers, and live in a society where they are still too often treated as sexual objects.

Our society actively encourages and facilitates sexual objectification via liberal use of contraceptives, immodest fashions, and a pervasive culture of machismo, where women are objects of desire to be conquered, rather than coequal partners in society. Our popular media is no help, reinforcing the sexual status of women through ads which appeal to men based on sexual appeal. Even the books on our shelves appeal to sex to sell.

Let's not construe this as blaming women however. Even if a woman dresses provocatively; or even if a women wears nothing, it is still not an invitation to rape. Also, it should not be assumed that most rapes are the result of women binge drinking at college parties while committing the mistake of dressing poorly amongst men raging with testosterone.

The vast majority of rapes involve ordinary women going about everyday business. Rape happens in homes, during dates, and at work. A few even happen in public. Last year, women have been notoriously raped in parks, and even on buses.

Certainly, some of the victims have been promiscuous women, but these are a very narrow minority - but so what? Let's be clear, even in the throes of passion, if a woman says no, or stop, then it is rape. Even if a relationship is established, it can still be rape.

Any time a person is compelled against their will to participate in any sexual activity, it is rape, no other circumstances apply, period.

Understand that victims range from old women to young children, some virtually babies. Recent headlines have told lurid tales of young girls being gang raped by fellow teenagers.

Even men and boys have been occasionally victimized. Yes, men suffer from rape too.

This is a sickness which pervades our country. It is a civil rights issue. Yes, it is a women's issue, but it's a man's issue as well. Every woman raped has a father, and many have husbands. How can a man say he enjoys a free society when half of its population are subject to victimization?

There are plenty of sick people out there who will perpetrate sexual crimes against others, however, the vast majority of sex criminals are not insane. They know entirely well the difference between right and wrong. They have impulse control and can behave as civilized human beings. The problem is we live in a society that grants license, then fails to punish the wrongdoers.

From as young as the teenage years, and perhaps a bit earlier, young men and boys are taught that sexual conquests are glorious. Our media reinforces this. There's little shame now attached to Swimsuit Issues and internet pornography. Conversely, women are taught this is normal, acceptable behavior, that boys will be boys.

We cannot, nor should we attempt to legislate all morality. However, we must do more to change our culture. The change begins at home, how parents raise their children. Children can be taught respect by managing what they are exposed to and providing a moral context for what they see. This is best done by modeling on behalf of the parents.

Mothers should dress modestly and men should refrain from misogynistic behavior and commentary.

Our society must make it easier for women to report rapes. Statutes of limitations should be extended and women should be familiarized with resources at their disposal. We must also remove the stigma of victimization, and place it upon the perpetrator where it belongs.

Finally, we need to clean up our airwaves and bookshelves, best accomplished by refusing to partake of anything that objectifies women to generate interest.

Whatever happens, we need to try something. One rape is one too many. One rape every 6.2 minutes is an unimaginable tragedy that cries out to the heavens for justice. We ignore those cries at our own peril, and the peril of our daughters.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

The Feast of St. John Invites us to Living Faith through Prayer Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The heart of good theology, the fire that fuels living faith, is an ongoing encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus, cultivated as an ongoing experience, through prayer. Without such an encounter I do not know how anyone can do theology at all.  The God who is ... continue reading


The unexpected Christmas gift: NSA reveals 12 years of illegal activity in new report Watch

Image of The new report from the NSA has shown flagrant disregard for the fundamental and constitutional rights of American citizens, by deliberate human abuse and error.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The National Security Agency (NSA) just released a very heavily edited account of the numerous violations its employees committed against American citizens in the years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


'You'll see no mercy infidels,' warns hackers on newspaper Web site Watch

Image of The FBI is aware of the incident, but says it's not aware of any other Web site attacks that may have occurred in New Mexico this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Web site of a local newspaper in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was hacked earlier this week. Transmitting a  horrific terrorist message, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now hot on the case. "Christmas will never be merry any longer" was one of the ... continue reading


Feast of St Stephen, Martyr and the Gift of Deacons Watch

Image of St Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, Pray for us!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sadly, some Catholics, some of whom self identify as traditionalists, have a problem with those of us ordained to serve as Deacons. I have only one thing to say, adjust. You cannot get more deeply rooted in the tradition than the first martyr of the Church named ... continue reading


Osama bin Laden's killer is under investigation for leaking classified documents Watch

Image of Robert O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who claims to have been the man who killed Osama bin Laden.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Robert O'Neill, the former U.S. Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden, is being investigated for leaking classified government secrets, after he revealed himself to be bin Laden's killer in November. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When O'Neill gave an ... continue reading


Does the U.S. hate cops? Despite media claims, Gallup poll reveals this is not true Watch

Image of While 48% of U.S. citizens say they believe that police are highly trustworthy and have high ethical standards, only 7% feel the same way about Congress.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a very vocal portion of the U.S. population has risen up to condemned the assorted police and law enforcement agencies within the United States. They call these men and women, who put their lives on the ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Progressives of this Age Are Not Progressive - They are Regressive

Image of The Jewish and Christian worldview presents a true humanism, insisting that every human person has an inherent dignity because they are all created in the Image of God. That is progressive.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What is happening in our Nation is a clash of worldviews, personal and social, and competing definitions of human freedom, human flourishing and human progress. The positions being espoused - and lifestyles being called progressive - by those currently using ... continue reading


A journey to the land of the free: Part Two -- Like dogs in a pound, immigrants are stripped of all hope as basic human rights remain scarce along the border Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families," states the first principle of the Three Basic Principles of Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - People have to right to feel safe in this ... continue reading


Guest Opinion: Priest-theologian praised 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle Watch

Image of Chris Kyle and his wife Taya before he was killed

By Matt C. Abbott

In light of the upcoming Clint Eastwood movie "American Sniper," which is based on the autobiography of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, I'm republishing a February 2013 interview I did with noted priest-author-theologian Father John Trigilio Jr., president of ... continue reading


Yankee's stand by fallen NYPD officers' children after inhumane murders Watch

Image of The murder of two NYPD officers this weekend hit the whole country hard.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the past 32 years, the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has provided for the education of children from fallen New York City police officers, firemen, and Port Authority employees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After the cold-blooded murder of NYPD officers, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First John 1:1-4
1 Something which has existed since the beginning, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:2-8
2 and came running to Simon Peter and the other ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 27th, 2014 Image

St. John the Apostle
December 27: St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast day - December ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter